Eliminating risks can be difficult, but by trusting staff and looking outside the box Vector’s OnGas division has successfully done just that.

The company won WorkSafe’s category at last night’s Safeguard New Zealand Workplace Health & Safety Awards.

Vector’s winning entry for the best initiative to address a workplace health risk was engineering out the risk of repetitive strain injuries, whilst also improving identification of gas related risk when testing freshly filled LPG bottles for leaks.

The concept was suggested by a safety representative who was inspired by the dairy industry. The company took the idea and made it appropriate for their situation, which after testing has been installed across all ten filling locations.
Each of Vector’s filling locations now have a spray tank, flexible hose and nozzle that’s suspended above the filling area which is used to apply a soapy solution to each bottle when checking for gas leaks.
“Vector have created an environment that encourages their people to be fully engaged in improving health and safety. This is a critical element in improving the health and safety outcomes in every business,” said WorkSafe Chief Executive, Nicole Rosie.

“By looking at the problem from a different perspective and applying lessons from other industries, Vector managed to engineer out the risks and create a far safer working environment,” added Mrs Rosie.

Vector’s Chief Risk Officer Kate Beddoe said the win demonstrated the strong safety culture at Vector and OnGas: “Strong support right across the business has meant we’ve been able to make a real and tangible difference not only to our fillers’ daily jobs but also their families and the communities we operate in by keeping our people healthy and safe”.

There have been no further reports of repetitive strain injuries from testing the LPG bottles.

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